Friday, April 26, 2013

UCSF & UC Hastings Celebrate Affiliation

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UCSF and UC Hastings College of the Law celebrated the signing of an agreement that formalizes the affiliation between the two great public institutions and recognizes their joint effort to advance interdisciplinary collaboration.  

Three years ago, the institutions launched the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy, which is the organizing force for joint initiatives in education, research, and clinical training and service. The Consortium was founded on the insight that the worlds of law and health science are increasingly entwined, and that professionals in both worlds can best advance good law, policy, and health through collaboration, rather than continuing to work in silos.

"When you bring people from different disciplines together and ask them to solve a problem, that's when you get innovation. That's where you find the solution," Professor Jaime King of UC Hastings told those gathered April 25, 2013 to celebrate the affiliation.

The Consortium has developed major initiatives in each of its core mission areas:

  • In education, the Consortium has launched a Concentration in Law & Health Science geared for JD students as well as a Master of Studies in Law (MSL) degree designed for health science professionals who wish to learn more about the law, but who do not need the full JD degree. The MSL program enrolled its inaugural class in Fall 2012, with half of the students coming from UCSF. The first class will graduate in May 2013. 
  • The Consortium has linked and supported researchers across disciplines who worked in a number of areas including aging, health reform, law and neuroscience, reproductive health, and health privacy.  
  • The Consortium has also launched a major joint clinical initiative, called the Medical-Legal Partnership for Seniors, in which law students provide free legal assistance to low-income patients at UCSF's Lakeside Senior Medical Center. The clinic model is designed to address the need for increased clinical training opportunities for law students, while at the same time addressing social determinants of health for vulnerable elderly patients. Lakeside medical staff and UC Hastings law students work, and learn, side by side in order to more effectively meet the needs of patients.

UCSF/UC Hastings Affiliation Celebration

The Consortium hosted a public event at UC Hastings on April 25, 2013 to celebrate the affiliation of UCSF and UC Hastings and to highlight the work of the Consortium in its first three years. Jeff Bluestone, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at UCSF noted that UCSF, one of the world's premier health sciences centers, "does not do affiliations lightly." 

"But we realized we cannot do precision medicine on our own. It needs to be done in context. Society wants to know the rules, which is something legal scholars can help us with. This is a special opportunity for us, and we are grateful to have it," Bluestone told those gathered.

The Consortium has already produced groundbreaking scholarship around price transparency in healthcare, which will help those providing medical care make better decisions for patients and help policy makers in their goal of providing affordable care for all. Medical and law students have attended joint lectures on each campus, ensuring the next generation of professionals learn a more integrated approach to their disciplines.

"The more we're able to understand each other's perspectives, the better our solutions are going to be in the future," said Claire Brindis, Director of UCSF's Institute for Health Policy Studies. "This is a unique opportunity to bring together the strength and experience of two world-renowned institutions."

Those involved in the program echoed that theme. MSL candidate Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics, in the division of Endrocrinology at UCSF, said "The fact is that we could be much better advocates for our patients if we knew just a little bit about the law." 

UC Hastings Professor David Faigman and UCSF Professor Daniel Dohan are co-directors of the Consortium. The Consortium is supported financially by public and private funding streams, including state funding from UC Hastings College of the Law and the University of California San Francisco. Public and private foundations have also supported its work, including the Grove Foundation and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

For more information, please click here: UCSF/UC Hastings Affiliation Celebration.

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Media Contact

Alex A.G. Shapiro | shapiroa@uchastings.edu | (415) 581-8842

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